In recent years, the richest men on the planet have been mentioned as Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates. But do you know who the true richest people in history are? The answer can be found in the article below.
Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk are among the world’s wealthiest people right now, but they don’t make the list of the wealthiest people of all time. There have been wealthier people in history than modern billionaires, particularly those whose wealth and spending had an impact on the overall health of the economy during their lifetimes.
Consider some more famous names, including American business magnates John D. Rockefeller, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Henry Ford, and the Russian Imperial Romanov family.
Who Are the World’s Richest People in History?
1:Mansa Musa (1280-1337) – Incalculable wealth
Mali is a country.
Wealth: More than anyone can describe.
“Mansa” means sultan or emperor in Mandinka. According to the BBC, Musa Keita was born around 1280 AD during the Keita Dynasty.
He was born into a ruling family and ascended to power in 1312 AD when his brother Mansa Abu-Bakr abdicated the throne to embark on an extravagant sea voyage. According to historian Shibab al-Umari, Abu-Bakr had always been fascinated by the Atlantic Ocean and reportedly left with a fleet of around 2,000 ships carrying thousands of men, women, and slaves – but he never returned.
Mansa Musa ascended to become the ninth sultan of the West African kingdom, which was already considered very wealthy at the time.
How wealthy was he really?
Mansa’s modern-day net worth is estimated to be between $400 billion and $500 billion, though calculating a fortune based on gold, salt, and land can be difficult. However, many historians agree that his fortune was “richer than anyone could describe.”
Nonetheless, Mansa Musa will be remembered not only for his mountains of gold, but also for his generosity and commitment to his Islamic faith, education promotion, and financing of his empire’s most significant cultural developments.
2:$6 trillion – Augustus Caesar (63 BC – 14 AD)
Augustus Caesar not only ruled an empire that accounted for 25% to 30% of global economic output, but he also possessed personal wealth equal to one-fifth of his empire’s economy, according to Stanford history professor Ian Morris. In 2014, that fortune would be worth approximately $4.6 trillion. “Augustus personally owned all of Egypt for a while,” Morris adds. That’s difficult to beat.
3:Akbar I (1542-1605) – Incalculable wealth
India is a country.
Wealth: Empire ruled with 25% of global GDP
Akbar, the greatest emperor of India’s Mughal dynasty, ruled an empire that accounted for approximately one-fourth of global economic output. According to Fortune’s Chris Matthews, the late economic historian Angus Maddison speculates that under Akbar, India’s GDP per capita was comparable to Elizabethan England, but with “a ruling class whose extravagant lifestyle surpassed that of European society.”
4:$372 billion – Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919)
country: United States of America
Andrew Carnegie, a Scottish-American businessman, and philanthropist who died in 1919 made his fortune in the nineteenth century.
Andrew Carnegie left the oil industry to Rockefeller and established the Carnegie Steel Company. At the time, his fortune was estimated to be $372 billion. He used his fortune to fund the construction of over 1,600 public libraries across the United States. In his opinion, it was critical to invest in knowledge, and he contributed tens of millions of dollars to American education.
Andrew spent the last few years of his life as a philanthropist, donating 90% of his fortune to charities, universities, and other organizations before his death.
5:$341 billion – John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937)
country: United States of America
During the twentieth century, John Davison Rockefeller, a famous billionaire, and oil tycoon controlled 90% of the flow of “black gold” (Oil). He passed away in 1937, at the age of 97. The Standard Oil Company, the largest oil company in the United States, is founded. During that time, he controlled 90% of the oil. The corporation was divided into 34 smaller companies. ExxonMobil, Chevron, and BP are still among them.
John D. Rockefeller was also the first person to raise a billion dollars. When converted, his fortune would be around $341 billion.
Following World War I, he donated a large sum of money to charitable causes and invested $250 million in his own organization, the Rockefeller Foundation.
6:$300 billion – Nikolai Alexandrovich Romanov (1868-1918)
Nicholas II, the last Emperor of Russia, King of Poland, and Grand Duke of Finland, is also known as Nikolai Alexandrovich Romanov. He ruled the Russian empire from 1894 to 1917, when he and his family were deposed and murdered by Bolshevik revolutionaries. Tsar Nicolas II’s net worth in 1916 was nearly $900 million, which, when adjusted for inflation, equated to $300 billion in 2012. At $300 billion, he is the sixth richest person in history, and since the Russian Orthodox Church canonized him, he has also become the richest saint in history.
7:$230 billion – Mir Osman Ali Khan (1886-1967)
Not the Adanis or the Ambanis, but Osman Ali Khan, the last Nizam (or ruler) of Hyderabad, was known as the richest Indian ever. Mir Osman Ali Khan was India’s wealthiest man before the princely state was absorbed into the Indian Union in 1948.
In 1911, Osman Ali Khan succeeded his father as Nizam of Hyderabad, a position he held for nearly four decades.
8:$5 billion – William The Conqueror (1027-1087)
William the Conqueror was King of England, with an estimated net worth of $229.5 billion after inflation.
When Edward the Confessor died, Harold Goodwin took over instead of William. He invaded England, enraged, to enforce his claim.
Their invasion plans were put on hold for several weeks as he gathered his fleet on the French coast. The two armies clashed in the Battle of Hastings on October 14, 1066. King Harold, along with his two brothers, were killed during the battle. King William of England was crowned.
During his reign as King, he was known to seize land and distribute it to his Norman subjects.
William the Conqueror was born in Falaise, Normandy, France in 1028. William the Bastard was another name for him. He died on September 9, 1087, in Rouen, France.
9:$200 billion – Muammar Gaddafi (1942-2011)
Libyan politician Muammar Gaddafi ruled Libya from 1969 to 1977 as the Revolutionary Chairman of the Libyan Arab Republic, and then from 1977 to 2011 as the “Brotherly Leader” of the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.
Gaddafi was a staunch supporter of Arab nationalism and socialism, but he later ruled in accordance with his own “Third International Theory.”
Muammar Gaddafi’s net worth was estimated to be around $200 billion at the time of his death.
10:$199 billion – Henry Ford (1863-1947)
Henry Ford, the famous American businessman and founder of the Ford Motor Company, dictated a vision that changed the history of industrialization.
He introduced the Ford T, one of the first cars with a gasoline engine, which went on to sell 16 million units. He introduced the world to the “Fordism” concept, which entails producing large quantities at a low cost via an assembly line. He rose to become one of the world’s wealthiest men, and we only see his legacy today because he left his fortune to the Ford Foundation.
11:$185 billion – Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794-1877)
Cornelius was a great American entrepreneur and philanthropist who made his fortune in the merchant marine by transporting cargo and passengers between Manhattan, Albany, and New York. It was also one of the first to invest in railroads during the industrialization of the United States. It is estimated that he amassed $185 billion before his death in 1877 at the age of 82.
His 12 children and wife received a large portion of his estate. The University of Vanderbilt, which he left a million dollars to build in his memory, was one of the only works that remained from his legacy. In 1877, his net worth was equal to 1.15% of the annual GDP of the United States.